Over Half Of Cigarettes Sold In New York Are Smuggled
Every time someone lights up in New York City, there's a good chance that their cigarette was smuggled. A recent Tax Foundation report found that New York is the American capital of smuggled cigarettes and they account for a whopping 56.8 percent of total cigarette consumption in the state. High taxes made smuggling lucrative and New York has the highest in the nation at $4.35 per pack along with a city tax of $1.50. That has led to a huge increase in cigarette smuggling over the past decade. Since 2006, inbound smuggling has increased 59 percent.
This is also true in many other states. In Arizona, smuggled cigarettes account for 48.8 percent of consumption while in Washington, it's 43.7 percent. There are different forms of smuggling. In its casual form, small quantities are purchased in one area and transported somewhere else for consumption. Commercial smuggling is usually far more elaborate and often involves large-scale commercial activity. Examples include hijacked trucks, officials turning a blind eye, counterfeit tax stamps and counterfeit brands.
This chart shows smuggled cigarettes as a share of total cigeratte consumption in U.S. states in 2015.
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